Olympics Basketball 2012: Great Britain Faces a Game of Ups and Downs

Jul 31, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Brazil center Nene Hilaro (13) and Great Britain forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu (7) chase after a lose ball in the men's preliminary game during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena. (Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

In their second game of the 2012 Olympics, great Britain took on Brazil. Compared to their previous game versus Russia, they performed better. Unfortunately for them, they fell to Brazil in a close game of 62-67.

Great Britain’s top performer was Pops Mensah-Bonsu. He inished with a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds. Luol Deng struggled with shooting (3-13 from the field), but he made up for it with his 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals. To make up for Deng’s scoring struggles, Nate Reinking posted 13 points while Dan Clark and Joel Freeland added 9 points apiece. It is good to see more than just Deng and Mensah-Bonsu being the key players, and this will be something that needs to be consitent for Great Britain to continue their improvement.

Rebounding was a plus for Great Britain again as they collected 35 boards. This is their strength, and with all the other struggles they have been facing, Great Britain will need to keep their rebounding consistent. Outrebounding their opponent may end up being the only way of staying in the game with tougher opponents coming up.

Although Great Britain had more overall production than they did against Russia, they still had struggles on defense and handling the ball. After leading in the first quarter, Great Britain was outscored by Brazil in both the second and third quarter. They were not consistent with their defense, and it caused them to fail. Later on, Great Britain will need to start playing well on defense from the start, and it needs to remain that way. They cannot allow leads to get to their heads and allow them to slack off.

Turnovers were a problem yet again. As a result of 18 turnovers, Brazil scored 12 points. Mistakes will be made, but it is vital to limit them as much as possible, especially in a close game.

Another area that is important in close game is free throw shooting. Britain shot 60% on free throws. They will need to improve this percentage if they are looking to win games.

The bench could also help some more. Overall, they scored 13 points. It is definitely an upgrade over their first game, but with more production, Great Britain would be in much better shape. Plus, if Deng continues to struggle, everyone else will need to step up.

Great Britain has improved their game a bit, and with continued improvement, they might be able to grab a win.

Thursday, August 2, 2012 is when Great Britain will play their next game. They will face a big challenge as they take on  Spain at 2:00 PM CT/8:00 PM local.

Topics: 2012 Olympics

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